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High Value Courses/Resorts in Southeast (GA, AL, TN, FL, NC, SC) - Probably RTJ?


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#1 IsleOfMan

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:18 PM

My wife wants to put together a long-weekend trip for us to celebrate my 30th birthday.  Her idea was for it to be a golf trip, possibly to a resort, for me to play a course or two I normally wouldn't get to (either due to geography, price, or both).  That said, I don't want to go crazy so I'm looking for some high value public-access courses and/or resorts in the Southeast USA to consider.  I would consider courses up to $100/round but would prefer those in the $50-80 range.  In terms of geography, I'm pretty open to anything within 6-hours driving from Atlanta, GA, but would prefer more like 4-hours driving.  We would probably be looking at a long weekend sometime between mid-July and early-September 2012.  I would most likely be playing 3 rounds, maybe 3 + a short course if included in some kind of package/discount.  

I'm not necessarily looking to play championship courses, just some nice courses that are well maintained and maybe a cut or two above the muni and executive courses I normally play around Atlanta.  The two locations that first pop into my head are Myrtle Beach and the Robert Trent Jones trail.  

RTJ seems, on the surface at least, to be the best value... especially with deals like the 3-day unlimited for $150 (plus cart).  To keep the driving to a min, we'd probably do something like Silver Lakes, Hampton Cove, and Oxmore Valley.  We would probably stay in Birmingham.  Any thoughts on RTJ for this type of trip?  I don't have a prejudice towards RTJ, I just know it's there, close, and supposedly a very good value.  

Myrtle Beach has dozens of courses and my wife and the lady of the other couple could hit the beach if they want, but it's really further than I want to drive.  I also have a feeling we would spend more money and time away from golf if we went to Myrtle.  

A third outlying possibility is Orlando since my wife and I are also Disney season pass holders and I'm sure she'd love any excuse to go, but I'd prefer to avoid that unless it's a killer deal since I know with Disney so close I'd end up playing less golf than I want to.

Going in a different direction, are there any multi-course resorts that might fit into our price range (room under $125/night, under $80/round)?  Any great package deals?

In terms of accomodations, we would probably be looking for two rooms or one 2-room suite (a 1-bed suite with pull-out would probably be fine).  A 2-bedroom suite somewhere like a Homewood Suites or similar might be ideal.  I have a feeling any of the resorts at the courses will be out of our price range, especially for two-rooms or one suite unless part of some kind of package.  

Thanks in advance!

Edited by IsleOfMan, 03 January 2012 - 04:47 PM.

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#2 BENNYSUPREME

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:37 AM

If you want to stay in GA. how about Arrowhead Point.  Its in your price range and they have a stay and play package I think.

If you just want golf have you played the Golf Club of South GA.
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#3 IsleOfMan

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

I'd like to play at least 2 courses or more, and maybe a touch better courses.  In another thread here I'd found Sandestin Resort and I (along with my wife) was pretty much sold (2-bedroom condos, 2 rounds, free afternoon re-play all for $500/couple) until the other guy that will be joining me (former mini-tour player 5-7 years ago) let us know he'd played there and wasn't impressed with the courses (though I'm guessing his standards are higher than mine).  

He has me leaning back towards RTJ, and maybe sticking with just Capitol Hill (Montgomery) or Magnolia Grove (Mobile).  The Marriott on-site at Capitol Hill is reasonably priced for individual rooms and and I like the idea of the resort being AT the course... but I'm worried there might not be as much for the ladies to do.  From either Montgomery or Mobile, they might drive down to Pensecola one day to visit my wife's college roommate.  Magnolia Grove also has a short course, which the ladies might actually play, but accomodations would be away from the course and not "resort" (likely a 2-bedroom at the Homewood Suites Mobile).  

Any tips on how to make RTJ more "resort like" without paying the $250+/night for a standard room at the "official" Renaisance hotels, most of which aren't on-site at the courses anyway?

Also, and idea when the Fall Golf specials will be published?  Would the 3-day Unlimited Golf normally be more or less expensive than the Summer price of $150?  We're somewhat flexible on dates, so going in August instead of September isn't a problem if the golf is cheaper that way.

Thanks!

Edited by IsleOfMan, 04 January 2012 - 10:35 AM.

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#4 jml

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:46 PM

Well, you could do Ross Bridge on the RTJ trail - classy resort that is on site and the ladies will love the spa.  This course will give as much of a challenge as you desire, and the room should be less than $200 a night.  Its really a nice place. Oxmoor Valley is just a mile or so away and offers two distinctly different 18 hole courses.  So in a matter of a couple of days, you could play at least 54 holes and have enough for the ladies to do.  

Within 5 miles of there if you didn't want to stay at Ross Bridge, there are several chain hotels and places to eat.  Plenty of shopping in the area (10 mile radius)- both high end and typical mall stuff.

Capitol Hill is a fantastic RTJ site and has some of the best golf on the trail.  However, I think the ladies on the trip may be bored.  I've not seen much in that area that would keep them entertained.  

I've never made it to Magnolia Grove, so I can't offer an opinion.   Silver lakes is another great golf site on the trail, but again, not much for the ladies to do.

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#5 theebdk

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:55 PM

Since no one stated the obvious - your wife is really cool.


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#6 sabram

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

Since you have the Disney pass, why not do Orlando? There are many golf and entertainment options in and around Orlando. Your post is not clear if your wife plays golf or if it is just the guys who will play. For a high end resort I like Reunion resort which is about ten minutes from Disney. You can get a beautiful two bedromm condo that you and the other couple can share making it reasonably priced. They have pools, a spa, waterpark and nicce restauarants on site and three very nice golf courses. The LPGA used to play an event at Reunion and I believe the Anika Sorenstam Academey is still there. Golf is expensive during the winter, but you can get a rediuuced rate package in summer and play all three courses. If you would rather stay at Disney, there are reasonable hotels near downtown Disney. Check for specials at the Buena Vista Palace. Downtown Diseny is across the street. If you go to the theme parks in the morning and play golf in the afternoon you can get very cheap golf rates. I never pay more than $60 for an afternoon round in Orlando. I played Shingle Creek, Grand Cypress and Falcons Fire two weeks ago (all about 10 minutes from Disney) for a total of $140 for three rounds. Even the four Diseny courses have good twilight rates. Green fees are even less in summer. If you book times on golfnow the day before you play you will get even better rates at some very good courses. The wives will have many more choices of things to do in Orlando than on the RTRJ trail and the golf at either is more or less comparable.

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Edited by sabram, 04 January 2012 - 10:02 PM.


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#7 IsleOfMan

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:37 AM

As much as my wife loves Disney (and really, I do too), the one time we went without the kids she said she felt guilty the whole time.  We spend so much vacation time there with the kids (anywhere from 3-6 times a year) that I'd almost like to avoid Orlando all together.  I'm not completely closed to the idea, but I'd like to see a little variety, drive not quite as far, and show my wife there are vacation spots outside of Orlando (a fact that I feel is sorely lost on her).  We're going to be in Orlando in early August for the kids birthdays anyway, and I don't want the two trips to mysteriously merge into one and I end up getting to play one afternoon round squeezed into nap time.  

Both wives golf, in the sense that they have clubs and are willing to try to hit the ball.  With my wife, at least, that's about as far as it goes.  She cleanly strikes the ball about 1/10 times, gets frustrated easily, and doesn't quite get the concept that re-hitting from the same spot slows play for the groups behind you.  She does, however, really enjoy the driving range particularly, probably because she can hit and re-hit without me reminding her that there's a group behind us.  I'm not quite sure she's ready for a top notch course... or maybe they (and the other players on them) aren't ready for her.  That's why I mentioned the possibility of the ladies playing one of the RTJ short courses with us, probably one afternoon or on the way home.  

Right now I'm still leaning towards 3 nights at Capitol Hill as being the best value.  We would leave ATL on a Friday after work and arrive around 8-9pm to the Marriott there on site.  Saturday and Sunday would be interchangable, but we would probably play 36 on-site one day (just the guys while the ladies head to Pensecola) and 18 on-site the other, with a trip that afternoon to Cambrian Ridge to play 9 or 18 on the short course with the ladies.  On Monday we would probably play 18 at Grand National since it would be on the way back home (while the ladies visit Auburn and whatever shopping there is in Opelika).  That would let us (the guys) play all 54 at Capitol Hill, 18 at Grand National, and the short course at Cambrian Ridge.  Alternatively, we might play a full 18 at Cambrian Ridge without the ladies, and play the 18-hole short at Grand National with the ladies on the way home.  Another possibiliyt is to play 36 at Cambrian Ridge while the ladies are in Pensacola since they could drop us off on the way, and we could kill time at the range or short course waiting for them to pick us up on the way back.  Either way, Capitol Hill seems to be a good central location without the expensive rooms at the Reneaisance at Ross Bridge or the longer drive to Magnolia Grove in Mobile.  Plus Ross Bridge is excluded from the Summer Unlimited 3-Day $150 golf deal which we're looking to take advantage of.  

Other thoughts?
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#8 From_Parts_Unknown

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:40 AM

I'd go West.  You will get to stay in your 20's for an hour longer.

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#9 IsleOfMan

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

I think Alabama fits that criteria!  :partytime2:
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#10 Mikolar

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:14 AM

Some of the RTJ locations are more suited to golfers rather that the total vacation experience but Ross Bridge is great.  
And while its been a year since I've been there, the two courses in Auburn/Opilika (sp) are both good ....  maybe 100 miles south of Atlanta.

As for shopping in Opelika?????
Unless they really like blue and orange in a sweatshirt material, they may be out of luck.  :)

Edited by Mikolar, 05 January 2012 - 11:21 AM.


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#11 darkhelmet

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:58 AM

Have you looked into Destin, FL?  I know a lot of people who do golf trips down there as well as family vacations (I'm in the Memphis, TN area).

GOOGLE says that it's less than a 6-hr drive from Atlanta.

Wish I had some courses to recommend, but maybe some other people can jump in with suggestions?



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#12 IsleOfMan

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:24 PM

I was originally pretty much sold on a package from the Sandestin Resort... 3-nights in a 2-bedroom condo with 2-rounds and free afternoon replay rounds (total of 4 rounds) for around $1000 ($500/couple) with plenty of diversions for the ladies.  But the other guy (former mini-tour player, Michelob Tour I think) wasn't too enthusiastic about the courses and pushed me back towards RTJ in general.  

As for Opelika shopping... I'm pretty sure there's enough around to keep them entertained for 4-5 hours... I remember there being some boutique shops on the old main street in Auburn, along with Tumors.  My wife also knows the Auburn area fairly well from her summers coaching cheer camps on campus, so I think she would know how to spend 5 hours or so while we played Grand National on the way home from Capitol Hill.

Edited by IsleOfMan, 05 January 2012 - 01:32 PM.

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#13 jml

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:30 PM

I originally suggested Ross Bridge, but it appears that your spouses are very supportive of a total golf-a-thon so I think your Capitol Hill/ Cambrian Ridge/ Grand National is a great choice.  Let the ladies head to the beach and you guys can play from dawn to dusk!   Grand National is a great place to finish up your trip!  Auburn has some surprisingly good restaurants to enjoy in the evenings.   Here's to a great time!

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#14 Brenngun

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

Have a look at Hilton Head SC. Multiple resorts and courses. Also if you want to pop for a PGA quality course Harbour Town is right there.

Edited by Brenngun, 07 January 2012 - 12:10 AM.


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#15 IsleOfMan

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:54 PM

I decided against Ross Bridge (both the course and the resort) because the course is excluded from the $150 Summer Unlimited 3-Day.  I wouldnt be playing the course, so staying at the resort seemed like a particularly poor value given the price per night and the fact that we would be driving to any and every course we would play, including the nearby Oxmoor Valley.  At Capitol Hill we can play 3 different courses (though probably just 2) without leaving the resort (giving the ladies free use of the car).  I see the trip going something like this...

Friday
Leave Atlanta around 5:00 pm
Arrive at Marriott Capitol Hill around 8:00 - 9:00 pm

Saturday - Capitol Hill
Play Senator AM
Play Judge or Legislator PM

Sunday - Cambrian Ridge
Play Loblolly AM
Play Sherling PM

Monday - Grand National
Play Lake AM
Play Short PM with Ladies

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#16 nitram

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:10 PM

Barnsley Gardens is in Adairsville, an hour north of ATL, and in great shape right now.
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#17 rcubed3r

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:27 PM

Sounds like Pinehurst would be perfect.
It is a quiet town with some good restaurants, shopping, and spas for the ladies, but somewhere that you can definitely concentrate on golf.
Contact a place like this:Tobacco Road Travel and tell them EXACTLY what you want for golf and accommodations. They have always gotten us great deals when we travel there.
There are some incredible golf courses in the area, some of the top rated in the country for very reasonable prices.

Ron

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#18 KLeC

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:17 AM

A late response, I know, but Capitol Hill, and specifically the Senator Course, is a great experience.  If I blindfolded you and dropped you out of helicopter, you would think you were in Scotland or Ireland.  I'm playing there in the 19th and 20th of March.  Can't wait.  If you get to Nashville, The Hermitage is a great venue.
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#19 dukeman

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

I don't know if I'd want to be going to Montgomery in July...Ugh...hottest, sweatiest place on earth...and what are your wives going to do all day? Hang out at the dog track? You're headed for Whiney Wife Syndrome.

As strange as it sounds, Mobile would actually be a great destination. My wife is from Mobile, so we go down there fairly often. 5 hours fairly easy highway driving. There are some historic hotels downtown that would be fun for "base camp."  I don't know what the rates are, but I have stayed at the Malaga, and it was a treat.

The RTJ complex in Mobile is fantastic. The Falls is the better course, but they are both really good.

If you want to have a day trip, it's about 90 minutes to the casinos in Biloxi...plenty for the wives to do and plenty of good courses, too (the Preserve, Shell Landing, Bear Trace among others)..

Depending on how you drive, the beach at Gulf Shores is maybe 45 minutes to an hour away Again, several really good courses (Kiva Dunes in particular) and a beach for the wives. Plenty of good waterfront seafood places, too.

The Grand Hotel in Point Clear has two courses that are pretty good but probably over-priced. It's a fun place go eat or hang out at the pool but I wouldn't play golf there.

Google Gulf Shores Golf Association. It's a one-stop-shop for golf/hotel information around Mobile and Gulf Shores.



PS....Mobile can be brutally hot, too, but if you play early you can get a gulf breeze that helps out big time.





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#20 Smooth spin scott

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:42 PM

View PostIsleOfMan, on 08 January 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:

I decided against Ross Bridge (both the course and the resort) because the course is excluded from the $150 Summer Unlimited 3-Day.  I wouldnt be playing the course, so staying at the resort seemed like a particularly poor value given the price per night and the fact that we would be driving to any and every course we would play, including the nearby Oxmoor Valley.  At Capitol Hill we can play 3 different courses (though probably just 2) without leaving the resort (giving the ladies free use of the car).  I see the trip going something like this...

Friday
Leave Atlanta around 5:00 pm
Arrive at Marriott Capitol Hill around 8:00 - 9:00 pm

Saturday - Capitol Hill
Play Senator AM
Play Judge or Legislator PM


Sunday - Cambrian Ridge
Play Loblolly AM
Play Sherling PM

Monday - Grand National
Play Lake AM
Play Short PM with Ladies



May I make a few suggestions....been to Cap Hill and GN 4 times.

1)  Skip Senator.  Play Judge in the AM the Legislator.  Senator we found boring with many holes looking and feeling the same.  Judge is the gem there. Legislator is fantastic also.

2)  To go to Grand National and not play the Links course would be a HUGE mistake.  Lakes course is beautiful but Links course is incredible!  Played all over the world and Links for me is top 10.

3)  Short course, simply awesome.

Enjoy, we are heading to Ross Bridge this year for something different.  Leave in 3 weeks  :clapping:

Edited by Smooth spin scott, 06 March 2012 - 07:43 PM.

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#21 dannytmc

dannytmc

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:44 PM

Not a single mention for Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra/Amelia Island?  30 is a big year...  do it right!  TPC Sawgrass....Ritz Carlton Amelia Island... PV Resorts....

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#22 Supra GTR

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:41 AM

View Postdukeman, on 06 March 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

I don't know if I'd want to be going to Montgomery in July...Ugh...hottest, sweatiest place on earth...and what are your wives going to do all day? Hang out at the dog track? You're headed for Whiney Wife Syndrome.

As strange as it sounds, Mobile would actually be a great destination. My wife is from Mobile, so we go down there fairly often. 5 hours fairly easy highway driving. There are some historic hotels downtown that would be fun for "base camp."  I don't know what the rates are, but I have stayed at the Malaga, and it was a treat.

The RTJ complex in Mobile is fantastic. The Falls is the better course, but they are both really good.

If you want to have a day trip, it's about 90 minutes to the casinos in Biloxi...plenty for the wives to do and plenty of good courses, too (the Preserve, Shell Landing, Bear Trace among others)..

Depending on how you drive, the beach at Gulf Shores is maybe 45 minutes to an hour away Again, several really good courses (Kiva Dunes in particular) and a beach for the wives. Plenty of good waterfront seafood places, too.

The Grand Hotel in Point Clear has two courses that are pretty good but probably over-priced. It's a fun place go eat or hang out at the pool but I wouldn't play golf there.

Google Gulf Shores Golf Association. It's a one-stop-shop for golf/hotel information around Mobile and Gulf Shores.



PS....Mobile can be brutally hot, too, but if you play early you can get a gulf breeze that helps out big time.




YES!!! Play Kiva Dunes.  It is challenging.  If your not in the fairway good luck getting a good score.  Tough greens, very nice fairways.  LOTS OF SAND



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